Seniors and the Digital World: Opportunities and Possibilities 

The digitalization is advancing relentlessly and it affects us all. People who did not grow up with computers and smartphones might face challenges when it comes to adapting to modern technology. But is it true that the older generation, in particular, struggle to navigate the digital world? In this article, we want to dispel prejudices and show that the digital world offers many opportunities and possibilities for seniors. 

Seniors in the Digital World 

The transition to digital technology offers many opportunities and possibilities for seniors. While many older people did not grow up with computers and smartphones, they are finding easier access to new technologies. 

A study by Pro Senectute Switzerland shows that 74% of those over 65 actively use the Internet, with only a quarter not yet online. Interestingly, the number of Internet users has almost doubled since the first survey in 2009. This shows that more and more seniors are recognizing and utilizing the benefits of the digital world. The use of smartphones and tablets among seniors has also increased significantly in recent years. Currently, roughly 70% of seniors use a smartphone and approximately 45% use a tablet. Remarkably, smartphone users are on average younger (72 years old) than non-users (78 years old). A similar age difference is also evident in the use of tablets. These statistics clearly demonstrate that smartphones and tablets have become important everyday tools for many seniors. They are not only used for information research and communication but also for organizing and planning daily life. 

The Benefits of the Digital World for Seniors 

Digitalization offers numerous benefits for seniors. It opens doors for improved networking, simplifies access to information and resources, and promotes independence. Through digital communication, it is possible to stay in constant contact with loved ones across geographical boundaries. Social media serves as an important platform to intensify closeness and connectedness with family and friends, thus maintaining social relationships. Furthermore, digitalization also has a positive impact on health. Fitness apps can assist seniors in maintaining or even improving their physical fitness as they age. Additionally, telemedicine can help us receive medical care faster and more conveniently. 

However, the advantages of digitalization go far beyond social networking and fitness. They make a significant contribution to preserving independence in everyday life. A good example of this is Helpany. 

At the heart of Helpany is an app and the radar-based device, Paul, ingeniously designed to make the well-being of seniors visible and to keep family caregivers connected and informed if their loved ones need help. Paul senses human motion, unveiling valuable insights into physical activity, daily routines, and behavioural habits of seniors for family caregivers through the corresponding app. The Helpany app also allows seniors to notify caregivers from anywhere with just a single tap, ensuring immediate attention when they need help.  

To fully utilize these benefits, it is crucial to be open-minded towards the digital world. By attending training sessions and regularly using and practicing digital solutions, seniors can fully exploit the potentials of the digital world and significantly improve their quality of life. 

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